‘Identity’ Photo Exhibit Celebrates Black Hair Experience

Identity | Adama Jalloh

Photo Credit: Adama Jalloh

We’ve all been there, sitting in a not-so-comfy salon chair or on the floor in front of our couch for hours getting our hair braided and styled. So, what happens when a young woman creates a university photography project centering on this black beauty ritual and shows it to a predominantly white audience?

She inspires conversations. Award-winning British photographer Adama Jalloh did just that with her “Identity” series celebrating Black beauty through images of girls and women getting their hair styled in salons throughout south London.

The 22-year-old wanted Black girls to remember what it was like to to go to the salon and teach others about our experience. In an interview with BuzzFeed, she said:

“When I was showing my work at uni, it was to a mostly white audience. So the way they would respond to it would be completely different to the way black girls would. When it’s a black audience, it’s not just about discovering. It’s more reminiscing and remembering.”

Identity | Adama Jalloh

Photo Credit: Adama Jalloh

Jalloh received her degree in photography at the Arts University Bournemouth — where she said that she experienced a lot of hair touching — and won the British Journal of Photography’s Breakthrough Award in May.

“Identity” is on view at the Black British Girlhood Exhibition and the Centre for Better Health in Hackney, London until August 5th.

If you can’t make the trip across the pond, click through to see more photos from Jalloh’s “Identity” project.

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About The Author

Queens native with a "healthy" obsession for all things beauty and Beyoncé.